[Haskell-cafe] Re: Working out which library to use

Andrew Coppin andrewcoppin at btinternet.com
Thu Nov 29 16:46:31 EST 2007

Don Stewart wrote:
> We have the start on a solution for how to pick "the good ones".
>     * Go to Hackage
>     * Click on the 'experimental search interface'
>             http://hackage.haskell.org/packages/search.html
>     * Click on 'advanced search':
>             http://hackage.haskell.org/packages/advancedsearch.html
>     * Type the name of the library you're interested in, into the 
>             "required-by" field.
> So as a crude heuristic for measuring what the masses are saying, this
> seems reasonable.

 From where I'm sitting, the main problems with Haskell packages are thus:

1. For certain tasks, there are multiple possible packages, and it's not 
really clear which one to go for. Having more than one choice is good. 
(E.g., there's Gtk2hs and there's wxHaskell, and you pick the one you 
want based on personal preference.) Having *dozens* of different 
packages for the same task, some more complete than others, some more 
maintained than others, etc., is just confusing.

2. Most things on Hackage don't seem to want to work on Windows. 
(Evidently this is being worked on. Stream Fusion installed just fine 
with a little help from Duncan...)

3. It's not easy to tell from the package summary whether it does what 
you want. (It looks like this too is being worked on with automatic 
generation of Haddoc information, which should help. Assuming there's 
any Haddoc comments to display, that is...)

4. General package quality. Some are excellent, some aren't. Given time, 
hopefully the excellent ones will rise to the top, and the less good 
ones will improve or dissappear. So it looks like this one is just a 
question of time and effort. Hopefully this will also somewhat solve #1 

Just my opinion - others are welcomed to dissagree. ;-)

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